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Free Agent Stock Watch: Kevin Millwood

I wasn't a huge fan of the Orioles' acquisition of Kevin Millwood, as I felt $9MM was still pretty hefty for a starter of his caliber and he wasn't likely to return a useful prospect at the trade deadline.  One team executive agreed, citing the Rangers' moving most of Millwood's salary as one of the best deals of the offseason.

With about 28% of the season in the books, Millwood is vindicating Andy MacPhail's acquisition.  The 35-year-old righty leads the American League in innings, averaging 6.8 per start.  He's allowed a fair share of hits and home runs, but has managed a 3.71 ERA due to the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career.

Will the Orioles trade Millwood?  It'd be a logical move, but the Orioles' rotation is already ranked 12th in the American League in ERA.  Without Millwood the team's rotation ERA would be over 5.00 and the bullpen would be even more taxed.  An arbitration offer after the season could net the Orioles a draft pick, as Millwood is currently a Type B free agent.  Of course, the O's would need to offer arbitration and have the Scott Boras-represented pitcher decline.

Millwood has Boras, but he still may have to accept a one-year deal in the $5-7MM range in free agency.  That'd fit with the deals signed by Doug Davis, Jon Garland, Brett Myers, Vicente Padilla, Carl Pavano, and Brad Penny last winter.  At least Millwood doesn't have to worry about a conflict of interest, as Boras doesn't have much else in the way of starting pitching next winter.








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